BEIJING: A fire at an Internet cafe spread to a hotel in central China on Sunday, killing 11 people and injuring 50 others, state media and firefighters said.
The fire broke out just after 6:30 am Sunday in Xiangyang city in Hubei province and wasn’t extinguished until almost 9 am, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Two Xiangyang firefighters said the fire started in an Internet cafe on the floor below the hotel in a five-story building. They refused to be identified, as is common with Chinese officials.
One of the firefighters said the Internet cafe was on the second floor and the hotel on the three floors above. He said the cause of the fire was under investigation.
Xinhua said some of the hotel guests managed to escape while others were rescued by firefighters. It said 42 of the hotel’s 50 rooms were occupied.
Footage shown on the state-run China News Service showed smoke billowing out of the hotel’s windows as firefighters sprayed water at the building and one climbed up a rope. A man and a woman were shown awaiting rescue at one window, the man covering his mouth with a cloth. A woman climbed down a ladder, helped by firefighters.
Inside the hotel, bedding was blackened, as was a corridor filled with burned debris.
The firefighters and Xinhua both said 11 people died and 50 were injured. Xinhua said some of the injuries were serious.